MicroStation PowerDraft CONNECT Edition Help

Using Positional Keyboard Navigation

With the Use Position Mapping setting in the Preferences dialog, Position Mapping category turned on, when the focus is home, you can use positional keyboard navigation. This technique lets you easily select tools and adjust tool settings controlled through option menus and check boxes.

Positional keyboard navigation is a technique that utilizes a position-mapped keyboard. Position mapping is the mapping of keyboard zones to logical collections of controls in the user interface.

MicroStation PowerDraft position maps your keyboard by default. The following figure shows the default position mapping:

Default position mapping

The blue keys (<1>, <2>, <3>, <4>, <5>, <6>, <7>, <8>, <9>, and <0>) are mapped to the icons in the Main task.
Note: These blue keys work only when you select Task Navigation workflow from the Quick Access Toolbar.

The yellow keys (<Q>, <W>, <E>, <R>, <T>, <A>, <S>, <D>, <F>, <G>, <Z>, <X>, <C>, <V>, and <B>) are mapped to the icons in the ribbon.

The green keys (<Y>, <U>, <I>, <O>, <P>, <H>, <J>, <K>, <L>, <;>, <N>, <M>, <,>, <.>, and </>) are mapped to the controls in the Tool Settings window.

For example, if you wanted to select the Rotate tool using positional keyboard navigation you would do the following:

  1. Press <3> to open the Manipulate - Main task.

    Conveniently, the ribbon group opens at the location of your pointer as a ribbon group pop-up or pop-up menu, depending on the preference set in the Preferences dialog, Ribbon category.

    The Manipulate - Main task opens as a pop-up menu at the pointer location.

  2. Press <4>.

    The Rotate tool is selected.

This example assumes the position mapping is turned on.

The following points are worth noting related to the first step:

  • The Manipulate – Main task's “parent” is the Main task. Recall the number keys are mapped to the icons in the Main task.
  • In the Main task, the third tool is the current representative of the Manipulate toolbox.
  • The number “3” is superimposed on that tool's icon as a navigational aid.

Continuing with the example, suppose you want to use the Rotate tool to rotate an element while copying the element. You would therefore want to turn on the Copies setting, which is off by default, in the Rotate settings window.

If the focus is home, you could use positional keyboard navigation to turn on Copies. The Copies check box is the fourth control in the window. Because the <H> key is mapped to the fourth control, you would press <H> to turn on Copies.

Rotate settings window. The Copies check box is mapped to <H> by default.

Tip: To activate a tool quickly, press <Shift> plus the number or letter corresponding to the representative tool in the Main task or in the Tasks dialog. Continuing with the example above, if the Rotate tool currently represents the Manipulate task, pressing <Shift> plus <3> activates the Rotate tool.

Tip: If the focus is away from home, pressing <Esc> not only moves the focus to home but also displays position mapping aids in the Tool Settings window for a moment. At this point you can press <Esc> as many times as needed to view the aids.

Rotate settings window with position mapping aids displayed.

Special Key Assignments During Positional Keyboard Navigation

The following keys are enabled during positional keyboard navigation:

  • <Enter> — opens the Key-in window at the pointer location or if the window is already open, puts focus within the browsable lists of keywords if they are visible.
  • <Tab> — changes to the next element under the pointer.
Note: When positional keyboard navigation is active, a keystroke is first sent to position mapping for processing. If it is processed there, then subsequent position mapping action takes place. However, if the keystroke is not mapped to position mapping, like the <Space> key, it is processed as a keyboard shortcut.

Customizing Position Mapping

You can customize your keyboard's position mapping by adjusting the preferences in the Position Mapping category of the Preferences dialog.

Position Mapping preferences

Note: The display of keyboard key labels as navigational aids on tool icons accessible via positional keyboard navigation is enabled by default. To disable it, turn off the preference Show Position Mapping Aids.